73. Why we are afraid of insects

I spotted a spider creeping in my bathroom the other day and I naturally jumped at the sight of it. A few minutes later I wondered, why am I, a human, with a size of over 100x would display such horror over a tiny creature?

And It’s not just me. Almost all humans that I know fear, if not loathe insects. Why are we so afraid of them? We know that they (mostly) can’t hurt us and we have so much power over them.

I’ve developed a couple theories.

It could be that they are so blatantly different from us. They have eight legs and tons of weird-looking eyes for god sake. They crawl and skitter. Their physical forms are so unlike ours. There are bones and spikes protruding everywhere. We are not afraid of dogs or elephants with hundred times their size because they are mammals with physics and movement that are predictable to us.

The size and the frequency of our encounter with the insect matter too. Why are we afraid of cockroaches but not small ants or flies — insects that could actually physically injure us? I guess it’s because they’re minuscule and we’re so used to seeing them and just squashing them. Maybe it’s the unexposed details of their deformities. Imagine an ant with the size of a mouse. That I would flee a thousand miles for.

Writing this gives me pretty good enlightenment on the cause of my fear. Listing all these reasons however, doesn’t help with eradicating the fear. Maybe if we see more people carrying bugs around them on the daily basis, it won’t be that scary after all. Pet tarantula anyone?